289 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K181 BATAVIA, 29 October 1948

IMPORTANT SECRET

Reference my K. 180. [1]

Cochran has now received the Netherlands reaction [2] to the Republican reply and will take it to Hatta in DjokJakarta tomorrow. The Netherlands Government does not consider the Republican reply satisfactory and requires further assurances that the Republic will undertake the proper observation of the truce.

2. Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stikker, will arrive in Batavia on Sunday for a short visit. The official communique of the Netherlands Government explains this visit in terms of the 'increasing unrest in Indonesia which causes great anxiety to the government.' 3. Stikker will seek an interview with Hatta. The purpose of the interview is not known. It could be to seek a resumption of negotiations or to issue an ultimatum regarding Republican truce observation.

4. The present Netherlands policy conforms closely to the established pattern. It is reminiscent of both (a) the policy in July last year when the Netherlands proposed a political settlement but at the same time accused the Republicans of inadmissible activities against the truce, and (b) the policy in November last when the Netherlands refused to consider political negotiations before a proper truce.

The present policy therefore appears to be designed either to justify police action or to delay resumption of political negotiations.

5. Both Cochran and myself are convinced of the Republican Government's sincerity in its efforts to maintain the truce and resume negotiations on a favourable basis. This is confirmed by an order of the day issued by President Sukarno on the 23rd October which in part called on the Army to safeguard the Truce Agreement.

1 Document 286.

2 The full text of the Netherlands Delegation's letter to Cochran dated 28 October is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Supplement for December, PP.152-4.

[AA:A4357/2, 48/254, v]